Mary Tyler Moore Set for Brain Surgery

05/12/2011 at 08:00 AM EDT

Mary Tyler Moore to Have Surgery for a Meningioma
Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke, on the set of the Rachael Ray Show, May 5, 2011
RACHAEL RAY/David M. Russell
Mary Tyler Moore has elected to undergo surgery to remove a meningioma, a benign tumor of the lining tissue of the brain, her rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

"At the recommendation of her neurologist, who has been monitoring this for years, and a neurosurgeon, Mary decided to proceed with this fairly routine procedure," says the rep.

The veteran star – who in the '60s as Laura Petrie on the The Dick Van Dyke Show was TV's first sexy suburban housewife, and then in the '70s as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the prototypical single career woman – most recently did a guest spot opposite her friend (and MTM Show costar) Betty White on the season premiere of Hot in Cleveland.

In March, Moore, 73, appeared in Vanity Fair's annual Hollywood Issue, marking the 30th anniversary of the movie Ordinary People, for which she was Oscar-nominated for her role as the icy mother, by reuniting with its cast and director Robert Redford.

On Thursday's Rachael Ray Show, which was taped on May 5, Moore makes a surprise appearance during an interview with her friend and former costar Dick Van Dyke.

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